Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - In Memorium: 2nd Lieutenant William H. Baker, d. May 23, 1865

In memory of 2nd Lieutenant William H. Baker.

My 2X great grand uncle, William H. Baker, joined the Kansas 12th Infantry, Company D, along with his older brother, John T. Baker, and his younger brother, Joseph N. Baker.  I'm not shocked that they all signed up to fight as their father, Joshua Baker, was very anti-slavery!

All three brothers were privates, but there must have been something special in William.  Unlike his two brothers, who mustered out at the end of the war still with the rank of private, William must have been a real leader.

According to the Report of the Adjutant General(1) William moved up through the ranks:
  • Promoted to Sergeant: 25 Sept 1862
  • Promoted to 1st Sergeant: 1 Jan 1864
  • Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant: 5 Jan 1865 

Unfortunately, William died on May 23, 1865, and was buried at Little Rock National Cemetery.  I can't imagine how lonely and afraid William would have been, to be so sick and so far away from his family, and finally to pass away.  

William's body was brought back to be with his family, and was buried at the Baker Cemetery, near Lane, Franklin County, Kansas.

There is a little star planted next to William's headstone which says: GAR - which stands for Grand Army of the Republic.  This means that William fought for the Union Army against the Confederate Army from the South.  William gave his life in support of this cause - and we have to really respect someone who was willing to make that ultimate sacrifice.

William didn't marry or have any children, which means there are no direct descendants to lay flowers at his grave.  So if we don't remember him, who will?  


(1) Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, 1861-1865.  Vol. 1.
- Photos - thank you to Harold&WandaBlackwell from FindAGrave - used with permission.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved


  1. Just may have to make a trip to lay flowers.

    1. You should definitely go! Although it is apparently not easy to find, as some of the roads are no longer really used. Here's the GPS coordinates: Latitude: 38.43720, Longitude: -95.13330.